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Richard's Drum Universe

About the blog

FREE DRUM LESSONS!!! This blog will incorporate drum lessons, drum patterns, music theory, advice, random drum related stuff... just anything related to drumming, teaching them and learning how to play them. This service is provided for free. Hopefully, you'll find it useful.

‘Rolling in Rhythm’ by Charles Wilcoxon

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Mon, April 04, 2016 11:18:00

Here’s a live recording of a snare drum solo (snare off) called ‘Rolling in Rhythm’ by Charles Wilcoxon. Enjoy!

How Much Practise?

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Sun, August 23, 2015 10:10:50

The more practise you do the better you will get. Just think about all the time you spend watching rubbish on TV; this is perfect drum practise time. In truth, if you put in 15 minutes a day you will improve. If you put in 30 minutes a day, you will improve more and so on. The most important thing is to keep focused and work on the things you can’t do as well as those you can do. It’s common for younger students to require a little parental coercion to get them practising. Those aiming to progress rapidly should put in about 1 hour (or two 30 minute sessions) a day.

Playing to a song you like or to a metronome can be very beneficial as this will help improve your timekeeping skills. Just make sure the tempo isn’t ‘blisteringly fast’ or it won’t help at all. Counting aloud is also something worth practising to keep your playing even.

It’s always a good idea to warm up at the start of your practise session; first try the single stroke roll (RLRL) remembering to hold your sticks the correct way and to keep your wrists loose. Count as you go.

This useful guide on practising from might be helpful.

The Peter Erskine FUN Warm-up

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Sat, June 07, 2014 08:00:44

Lots of drummers have their own warm-up routines. I like to play double paradiddles, long double and single stroke rolls and… well, I could go on. A warm-up routine might take about 10-15 minutes. I remember reading that Vinnie Colaiuta would warm up for 30 minutes but he warned that it’s possible to completely ‘blow your chops’ if you warm up for too long. From memory Chad Wackerman likes to play the 7-stroke roll as his warm-up exercise. (I think there’s a YouTube video of him saying this.)

Another approach is to use a piece of snare drum music that incorporates lots of rudiments. Better still, have several pieces under your belt that you can whizz through before your gig. Recently, I have been rediscovering a book of snare drum pieces by C.S. Wilcoxon, “Modern Rudimental Swing Solos”. I imagine memorising a few of these pieces would be perfect for warming up.

There’s a video on YouTube of Peter Erskine, the drummer with Weather Report (among others) explaining his warm-up routine, which is also a great exercise for single hand rolls. It’s probably easier to watch Peter explain it, so take it away, Peter…

So, that’s pretty easy to understand, right? And FUN! Yes, definitely fun.

Here’s a PDF I prepared which shows exactly what’s happening. I’ve set the starting tempo to be crotchet = 80, but you can start as slow or as fast as you feel comfortable with.

Peter Erskine Warm-up

Have fun!

Five, seven and nine stroke rolls

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Thu, April 03, 2014 06:08:36

Here’s a worksheet on rolls. I haven’t made a video for a while so when I get a moment I’ll make one about this subject. Until then…

Jazz hi-hat

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Sat, February 15, 2014 09:30:31

Today’s guest lecturer is the all-time great, Joe Porcaro. He’s going to talk to you about jazz hi-hat technique. I have prepared a study sheet for you! There will ten minutes for questions after Joe has given his presentation. Over to you, Joe.

Here’s the study sheet. I hope it helps!

And remember, the open hi-hat should sound like there’s “glass in there, shimmering like crazy”, so loosen up the top hi-hat cymbal and let it fizz!

Drum Lesson 12: Flams and Drags

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Sat, August 31, 2013 09:16:12

Lesson 12 for the complete beginner is all about two common rudiments: flams and drags. The key point I attempt to convey is the importance of stick height. When you play a flam, you’re playing a grace note just before the main note. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean. There’s an exercise sheet again… After a significant amount of explanation I play through exercises 1 and 2. I don’t explain exercise 3 but I do play it. If you’ve watched all the previous videos you won’t (shouldn’t) have a problem working it out.


(If your mobile phone doesn’t support Flash, watch the video here)

Here’s the PDF file exercise sheet:

Drum Lesson 11: Exercises in 3/4

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Sun, July 21, 2013 14:06:54

A strange thing happens after a few weeks of habitually counting up to four in your drum practise: counting up to three (something you were probably pretty good at before you decided to be a musician) suddenly seems difficult. Actually, that’s not strictly true; it’s not so much counting up to three that’s difficult, it’s NOT counting up to four. Welcome to the world of 3/4 or waltz time where there is NO beat four.

Here’s the PDF file containing the exercises in this lesson:

You might want to print this out and familiarise yourself with the counting before you
watch the video:


These exercises are aimed at the beginner. Once you have learnt how to play them you can attempt to join them up, moving from one to the other without a break. Don’t forget to observe the dynamics and alway practise to a metronome or click. The tempo is quick, in the upper range of allegro.

(If your mobile phone doesn’t support Flash, watch the video here)

Drum Lesson 10

Drum lessons (beginners) Posted on Wed, June 12, 2013 08:33:26

Now’s the time to learn the Single Paradiddle!

Here’s the sticking:


This is usually played with an emphasis on the first note of each group of four notes.

And now the video:

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